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losing the election was to change the rules for future elections. states with republican control legislatures are pushing plans to redistribute electoral votes by congressional districts. not who got the most votes in the state. so the 2012 election would go from this to this. it's magic. hello, president romney! the plan was exposed and we've seen the gop back pedal in some places. but the scam is alive elsewhere. the michigan gop is now committed to pushing on with this electoral vote plan. here's the republican house speaker. >> i think it's worth a discussion. so this is the time to have that conversation. when a presidential election is not on going. winner take all is not the original way. why has it changed? we have to look at the future to understand the past. but look to the future about
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what is best for our voters. >> i'll tell you what's not best for your voters -- changing the rules just so you can win. president obama won michigan by almost 10%. taking all 16 electoral votes. but under the scam he would win just seven. governor snyder refused to comment at the convention and in pennsylvania 13 republican senators just introduced a new plan to redistribute electoral votes by congressional district. this is stealing, it's cheating. we won't let it happen. we've come too far to turn back now. just because you started losing in the game, does not mean you can change the rules just because you can't win. we played the game by the rules that were set. now either win or lose but don't change the game.
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the american people deserve better than that. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hard ball" starts right now. >> no country for old men. let's play hard ball. >> good evening, i'm chris matthews. let me start with today's democratic party. if you want to be president, you better be young because you've got some waiting to do. if hillary clinton runs in 2016 and then 2020, the job is not open for you until 2024. it gets worse. if there's a president hillary clinton, that means 16 years of democrats in the white house, the longest run since fdr and truman. that means almost impossible democratic chance to win again in 2024 if anyone now in politics can wait that long. so the big question loomenting,
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what other career goal makes sense if there is no real shot at the presidency? or is there a lingering hope that secretary clinton won't make the run? or if she does, if she could be beaten. is that's what got governors cuomo and o'malley and patrick and vice president biden dreaming of sitting behind that presidential desk? the outside thought of what might be? joan loss and david corn join me. they're both msnbc political analysts. let's take a look at this story leading the stories today. dems 2016: will hillary clinton clear the field? we look at the waiting room. you know the people all have signs or have shown signs that point to them running if hillary clinton doesn't. joe biden, of course, new york governor andrew cuomo, maryland governor martin o'malley, massachusetts governor duval patrick and shaug mayor am emanuel. david corn, i'll go to you.
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are these people all moving around having cocktail parties and having snacks and munchies at the governor's mansion? the marriott the other day in washington last night, do they do this because they think hill i have beatable, not running or what? what do they think? >> these guys, i don't know, maybe a couple senators when they look in the mirror they see a potential president. they're not going to do anything that would prevent them from running down the road. >> but there is no down the road if hillary runs and wins. >> that's right. but that's why i'm convinced -- i'm not convinced yet that hillary is going to run because she'll be 69. the last few presidents we've had have been 46, 54 and 47 when they took office. and you know, politics is a game for risk tears. there will be somebody, if you look at the numbers you put up, beginning of the show, they'll do the math. and they'll say it's now or
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never. and you know, she'll have competition from either those people on the screen or somebody else who won't want to wait and who will wonder if america is ready again to elect somebody that old. >> well, let's go to joan walsh and fwauk how gentlemen used to behave. there was a time when men would not ask a woman her age. now we heard what he said, giving her age and making a knock about it. what happened to decent standards? i'm serious here. here's my question to you. why are the other professionals who do this for a living, they're politicians, begin planning for a race that may never happen for them unless they're just going to shoot the moon and go against a very difficult challenge? >> well, first of all, david is a friend of mine. i'm not going to really wrap him for that. i'm going to stick to this. i'm just going to stick to this. i would match hillary clinton's sense of being capable of keeping a very vigorous schedule against anyone's. the pace she's kept in the last four years, in the last eight
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years, would tire any of us, including you and me, david. so let's just leave it there and leave aside questions of age. look, i don't think anybody has the -- either the resume or the star power that hillary clinton brings to this. what i think these guys are doing though, chris, is what david says. you know, she's not decided. i kind of think she will, but none of us are sure, and so if they want to be president, they've got to be active. they've got to be out there. they can't be too obvious at this point. the gentlemanly thing or the smart political thing, whichever you want to call it, is to wait and give her a little space and respect and see what she does. but if she decides to run, i don't think you see any of those guys that you mentioned in the race. >> you don't see -- let me get back to you on that same question, david. i think some people really are born to be president from the time they run for student council in high school and they run again in college and they're sort of born to be campus politicos. they never stop running. do you think cuomo will step aside? let's get to the vice president. if he heard hillary -- she
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called him up and said, joe, i'm going for it, would he stay in the race? >> my guess is that he won't because, you know, i'll keep coming back to the age issue despite what my good friend joan says, he's five years older than she is. i don't think he would. he doesn't have i think -- >> are you the grim reaper? is this your new role here? >> i don't think he has the same incentive to run that she does or the same claim on the democratic base. these are all very ambitious people. i don't say that as a knock on them. they'll be there in case -- listen, last time around she didn't run a good campaign. she's been very -- >> we're going to get to that. i am going to get to that. >> and she's in a different place now. >> let's take a look at hillary's ratings. the public really is on hillary's side to run. the last quinnipiac poll has her at 61% favorable. i just wonder whether that in itself isn't going to be a nudge, joan, when she looks at
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those numbers and says, i could be the first woman, i could be on the supreme court if i wanted it, but i could be the first ever woman president of the united states, and there aren't many waiting behind me that would get it fairly soon either. it's either me or nobody perhaps for a number of cycles perhaps. and so she may feel the responsibility. as a woman, what do you think? do you think she feels the responsibility to take that opportunity? not just out of personal ambition but gender equality reasons? >> yes, i do. i think, first and foremost, she's a very dutiful person, a very disciplined person. she has both a sense of her own history but a sense of her own obligations, and i think if she starts to feel, you know, to get her rest in, to read some good books, to spend some time with her family, she may look at those numbers, she may look at the history, she may look at the bench and say, you know, i ought to do this. she's going to be hearing from a lot of women around the country and around the world, frankly, who are going to say you can do this. you are the front-runner, male or female. and, you know, david and i, we've all looked at the fact
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that she ran a terrible campaign, and so i'm really reluctant to say she's the front-runner again because she was the front-runner in 2007, and we saw what happened. but this is different. i'm not saying anything is certain, but i think to go to the question you asked me, chris, i think she's got to look at those numbers, and she's got to look at the chance and say, i will make history, and i will make a lot of women and little girls very, very proud. >> you can always learn from the other side, guys. always try to learn from both sides in this business of analysis, and ronald reagan ran a pretty good campaign in '76 and almost knocked off an incumbent president, jerry ford. he came back as a supply-sider with a totally different approach and fired his campaign manager after winning in new hampshire. so you can make radical changes in strategy and really prove yourself to the game. last month on "60 minutes" steve kroft, he's good at this, asked the president about secretary clinton's prospects four years hence. >> i have to ask you, what's the date of expiration on this endorsement? >> oh, steve, you know, i know -- >> i have to ask that question. come on. you're sitting here together.
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everybody in town is talking about it already, and this is taking place. >> you know, steve, i got to tell you, you guys in the press are incorrigible. i was literally inaugurated four days ago, and you're talking about elections four years from now. >> yeah. and i am, as you know, steve, i am still secretary of state, so i'm out of politics, and i'm forbidden from even hearing these questions. >> that's already out of date. she's no longer secretary of state. i want you to go back to this question because i think we are not ahead of the calendar here right now. you two guys know and i know that the decision about whether hillary clinton runs for president is several months off, not several years off. for the simple reason of courtesy. if she doesn't make the move, these other guys are going to make it, and if she jumps in, it will cause all kinds of mayhem. i'll leave it open, david and then joan, when does she really have to make a move to signal she's going to run for
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president? >> i think she has at least a good year here. >> a year. >> to do that. i think she can rest up. i spoke to a real good friend -- >> rest for a year? >> i think she needs it after the last four. >> other people have hard jobs, too, you know. they don't get a year to rest. >> we'll see how vigorous she is in the next year. i talked to a good friend -- >> have you ever rested for a year? >> no. >> i don't know how you do that. how about two days in a row eight hours a night. >> chris, i spoke to a good friend of hers about a month ago, and she said hillary would like to be president, thinks she obviously can do a good job, and would like to give it a run, but she is, indeed, worried about the process and all the hatred that will be thrust at her once again. we know it's coming, and she doesn't relish the idea of campaigning for two years straight for the job. >> joan? could she make an adjustment like reagan did and run a different kind of campaign that
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deals with the knowledge she gained from the first try effectively? >> that's a really good question. i think she can. i agree with david. i'm not saying she's going to rest for a year. she's not going to a spa, chris, or a cloister, but i think she could afford to give speeches, read, talk. she wants to write another book for a year. by early next year she probably has to out of courtesy, out of a sense of decency to the party and other people who want to start assembling a team and run, she probably has to give a pretty serious indication of her intent. now, i think if she runs again, she really can't run as that front-runner. it cannot be that inevitability campaign she ran in 2007, and she knows that. she's got to be about the future. >> if you're watching, madam secretary, all three of us have brilliant ideas. >> we do. >> great ideas. and i especially put myself in that group with joan and david. we know how to do this, people. get you in there. thank you very much, david, and thank you, joan. coming up, did president obama miscalculate the republicans' preferred defense cuts or more national debt. apparently they're happy to take
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the whacks at the pentagon in the interest of cutting spending overall. who would have expected this? apparently the president didn't. and can the republicans get away with it? republicans in two key states are up to something now. they're not giving up on schemes to rejigger the electoral college. they're out to help their candidates next time. republicans figure if they can't win in the system, they're just out to change it. they're flagrant about it. last, the oscars is about all of us. america is back in a winning mood. finally, in case you didn't realize it, michelle obama has got moves. ♪ that cross dresser there on the left, of course, is jimmy fallon. the first lady's evolution of mom dancing with jimmy fallon. that's tonight in the "sideshow." and this is "hardball," the place for politics. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age...
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if youthen this willbrids arbe a nice surprise. meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max come. c-max go. c-max give a ride to everyone it knows. c max has more passenger volume than competitor prius v and we haven't even mentioned... c-max also gets better mpg. say hi to the super fuel efficient ford c-max hybrid. another scandal in the roman catholic church. cardinal keith o'brien, the highest ranking church official in great britain, has been accused of improper conduct with priests. cardinal o'brien, who is retiring this year, says he will skip the conclave in rome to elect the next pope because he doesn't want to be the center of the media's attention. as the church gets out there to pick someone to lead it into the future, it now has another reminder of the worst part of its recent past. terrible news. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." it's showdown time, of course. the clock is ticking down to friday as republicans and democrats face off over that massive, automatic, job killing spending cut that's scheduled to take place march 1st. the president is taking his case to the american people, as we have seen, warning the public about the impact of those cuts. today he made an appeal to the governors. >> now, these impacts will not all be felt on day one, but rest assured the uncertainty is already having an effect. companies are preparing layoff notices. families are preparing to cut back on expenses. and the longer these cuts are in place, the bigger the impact will become. i know sometimes folks in congress think that compromise is a bad word, and they figure they'll pay a higher price at the polls for working with the other side than they will for standing pat or engaging in obstructionism, but as governors, some of you with legislatures controlled by the other party, you know that compromise is essential to getting things done. and so is prioritizing, making smart choices. >> so the question tonight, what is the president campaigning
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for? what is he getting done here? joy reid is managing editor of the grio, and howard fineman is editorial director for "the huffington post." howard, i keep thinking the president's campaigning, the first lady was on the oscars last night, on jimmy fallon. she's delightful. it's nice and soft. what does it have to do with winning the american people's confidence we can get the government running on a steady course and no more shutdown fears that seem to be hobbling us in terms of building self-confidence for this country? >> chris, i think the president, the obamas, are masters of all they survey in terms of the culture and in terms really of public opinion right now. if you look at the polls, the public is on the president's side in terms of his priorities, and they're on his side in terms of whom they will blame if there is a sequestration shutdown or limitation of the government come the end of the week. i think the president's theory here is to build as much outside
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pressure on the republicans in the house as he possibly can to get them to cry uncle again on taxes so he can then move onto entitlements and modifications there to make the grand bargain. >> any evidence it's working? >> no. it's a long way around at this point, and he runs the risk, i think, of painting into a corner -- cornering sort of the people he needs in the end. so neither side at this point, neither the president nor the republicans, are really making anything easier. >> that's the old question. you know, bullies usually get somebody in the corner, and the guy ends up killing the guy or fighting back at least. if you bully a person into a corner and you say you have no alternative but to deal with me, what do they do? they'll fight. i'm not sure they'll say uncle. >> the problem, too, is the republican party, the calvin coolidge wing of the party, is pretty much the only one that has an ideology they can -- >> which is don't spend money. >> don't spend money and don't raise taxes no matter what. they would rather have the sequester even -- >> did you know that two months ago? i didn't.
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>> you know what, no. i didn't know that wing of the party could stomach the defense part of the cuts. what they wanted was to replace the defense cuts with entitlement cuts, and once they realized they wouldn't get the president to go out front and say we'll cut medicare instead, they will take the defense cuts if they can get austerity. >> the hawkish party that was fighting in iraq, fighting in afghanistan, a lot of neocon influence, now basically says screw you to people like bill kristol, we're out of the wars. buck mckeon of all people, classic appropriator of california said in "the new york times," a great reporting piece, this is something that they basically miscalculated, the obama people. they didn't understand the republicans cared less about defense spending than they do about spending cuts. >> look, chris, i don't know if i can prove it because i don't know if i went on record in "the huff post" on it two months ago,
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but i think after the last time around when, as joy calls them, the coolidge wing of the republican party felt they had been taken advantage of, if you will, by the president on the tax negotiations in the fiscal cliff, they were vowing and they were saying pretty clearly that they weren't going to let it happen again on taxes, and i also think that the coolidge wing of the party is a little less neocon and a little more isolationist, if you will, than the previous crowd of 10, 15 years ago that was around george w. bush and before that. >> i agree. >> this is a different group, and they are -- >> how do you fight it? >> chris, they are almost like '60s protesters who are getting ready to take over the ad building, and speaker boehner kind of is in the role of dean wormer. he's helpless. >> i think it will be the raspberry statement, not the strawberry statement. i got you to laugh, howard. that's great. the whole idea of the raspberry statement. we don't care if the government
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shuts down, don't care if the spending gets cut. that's what we're here for. remember we watched that scene in john mccain's town meeting, it had to do with immigration. but that same guy in the back row is probably jumping up. as much as he doesn't like mexican immigrants coming in the country, he hates government spending, too. it's the same guy. >> and in a way the president is being victimized by his own success. he stripped them of everything else they had. they're being told they got to do immigration even though their base hates it. they raised taxes. they voted to raise taxes, which was a central plank of republicanism for like my entire life. they raised taxes -- >> for 1%. >> he stripped them to their boxers. >> you are really overdoing this. the republicans gave away the tax increase -- >> they gave it away.
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they're not going to give on spending. they're like, look, all we've got left is we're for austerity. we want the spending cuts. come what may, we'll do it -- >> chris, i'm told by a lot of democrats on the hill that i saw over the weekend that if the president moves an inch on entitlements, in other words, if he resurfaces that topic, that there is room for a deal here. but right now the president isn't doing that. the president is only emphasizing the tax side of this because he wants, i think, to get cover with his own party -- >> i agree. >> -- for when he comes along with -- >> how do you get the baby back from the kidnappers and get the hostage money for them? that's the -- the whole question is how -- it's a terrible metaphor. how do you do the transfer? how does nancy pelosi say, i know we're going to get the tax reform and the spending and the revenue increase, and that's why i'm willing to go with reform on entitlements? >> i don't see what the incentive is for democrats to now cut medicare. if they win on loopholes, if they're able to get tax increase -- >> because -- i'll tell you why. if this government goes down and we continue to have this craziness, public confidence in the economy is going to drop, and we're going to have a second recession, and this president's second term isn't going to be
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worth claiming, and that's the danger. >> but there's no incentive for barack obama to put his name on it. republicans are the ones that want to cut medicare, they have to go out front. they keep trying to push him to do it. >> let me give you my speech. it's not left or right. somebody has got to drive the fricking car, and the kids in the backseat are going to complain. sooner or later you have to drive the car, and it's obama's car. thank you howard fineman and carol. i normally -- you can't keep sitting in the backseat daddy she touched me. you got to stop. up next. car sick. it's the greatest thing i have seen in a long time. michelle obama on -- it was great, and he was great, too. i thought he was a mom there for a while. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." friday night on jimmy fallon's show, first lady michelle obama joined with a partner to demonstrate how mom dancing has progressed over the years. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> just name another first lady in the history of this country to do something like this on television. fabulous skit. she was truly a good sport. ms. obama's fun times with jimmy fallon got a nod at yesterday's national governors association meeting in washington. here is jack markell speaking directly to president obama. >> you're probably jealous of the first lady. she's jimmy fallon's trainer. while you, on the other hand, deal with leader reid and speaker boehner. >> during an appointment at the white house last year, the first lady gave fallon some fitness tips. the president did some social towel snapping, if you will. >> i want to say thanks to you for being on your best behavior last night. i'm told nothing was broken, no silverware is missing.
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i didn't get any calls from the neighbors about the noise. although i can't speak for joe's afterparty at the observatory. i hear that was wild. >> well, next the "sideshow" meets the oscars. it comes as no surprise that the iranian government is not jazzed by the movie "argo." the movie is all about how they were duped into believing that their country was being used for a hollywood movie when the whole thing was really a cia operation to free six american hostages. all the same, the results of the academy awards were reported by the iranian news agency including that "argo" had won best picture. do you notice anything off about the snapshot of michelle obama presenting the award? they added extra fabric and sleeves. it didn't pass muster under the country's strict dress code. they got this as a result. no harm done. wish we could always fight wars like this. up next, republicans in some key blue states are doubling down on their plans to rig or
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nction news learned that senators john mccain and lindsey gram will head to the white house tomorrow for talks on immigration. the senators have disagreed with the president on how to overhaul the system. john kerry is on his first trip abroad as secretary of state traveling to europe and the middle east. at the top of his agenda is trying to salvage a conference of syrian opposition leaders which some key players are threatening to boycott. syria's government is offering to hold talks with rebel leaders. previously the syrian regime refused to negotiate with the opposition which they called terrorists. another winter storm is
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welcome back to "hardball." you can't take your eye off the republican these days because when you do, they're plotting new ways to disenfranchise some voters. this weekend in michigan a move to rig the electoral vote system to hurt urban voters got a big boost at the republican convention in lansing. republicans want to junk the winner-take-all system and allocate votes by congressional district. this means voters in cities, detroit for example, who tend to be democrats, would have their votes minimized because they're geographically voted together. the real vote count in michigan last november was 16. romney, 0. 16, obama, 0 for romney. under the new system, obama would have won 7 electoral votes and romney, who lost the popular vote by 10%, would get 9 electoral votes.
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is that fair? in pennsylvania republicans are attempting a similar stunt. in virginia stricter voter i.d. laws limiting the types of acceptable i.d. required to vote have been passed by lawmakers and has gone to the governor for his signature. the voting rights act is going to be challenged by the supreme court. joining me right now is pennsylvania democratic party chair jim burn and the co-director of the advancement project, an organization that works to protect voting rights, judith browne dianis. i want to talk to you about this thing in michigan. it's so obviously intended to zap the importance of detroit. it's so obvious because you have a lot of minority voters living there, and this just basically says you get one cd. we're going to take the state. >> that's right. you know, we have to understand that this wasn't just one act, right? first you take over state legislatures in 2010, the gop does that. then what they do is they try to make it harder to vote by passing voter i.d. laws, and then the third part of their
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plan is then to change the way the electoral college votes are allocated so that people in communities of color have less power, and so this is the trifecta of the gop plan. we have to understand that, yes, it is not an election year in many places, but god bless them, the gop has a long-term plan on how to win the game. >> jim, in pennsylvania we know about the voter i.d. card. when will it come back into play and the court order, and what are the pennsylvania republicans up to in terms of rejiggering the electoral college up there is they can get a big bulk of electoral votes -- >> the advancement project is involved in the pennsylvania case, and we expect that that will be -- that that i.d. law will not be implemented for a little while because the state is moving back off of the idea. every time we went to court, they would lessen the
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requirements. we think that that's -- that that will play out in a bit. >> jim burn, thank you, chairman of the democratic party. tell me about the whole outlook of what you see coming out of harrisburg, what the republicans are up to with the majority there? >> the first part of your question is there's a court date i believe in july, but they say it's not -- the voter i.d., that is. they say it's not about cheating to win. well, chris, we talked last october about how they were running around with misrepresentations creating the impression falsely that you needed identification to vote in the november elections. funny how this primary in may of 2013 they're not doing anything remotely close to that. that hearing will be in july. on the second part of your question with respect to the electoral college issue, how is it fair that in pennsylvania -- how is it fair we would award mitt romney 8 votes when the president got 20 electoral votes under our current system? why would we reward him 8 votes
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when he lost by 300,000? this is a very unpopular governor with a republican controlled senate and hanging on by its fingernails. this is not a popular idea here. they're going to push it, but i don't know if they're going to be successful. >> do you think corbett would dare hang it on himself? it seems to me it will be one heck of a thing to carry across the finish line if he has this on top of his popularity. >> this is not a popular governor. this is probably the least popular governor in america right now. no governor has been this abysmal in the ratings this close to a re-election. for tom corbett that's next year.
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so, no, he's trying to stay over the plate right now and trying to get his ratings up. he's failing miserably. i don't see him wanting this type of political baggage when he has enough problems as it is. >> let me go back to judith. running around the bases right now, basically virginia has -- they're pushing something now on voter i.d. and you have a -- very close. cuccinelli i think could be a close race if it comes to that this fall. if they can nick a few minority votes like 5% even or 3% or 4% away, they could take it. i'm wondering how much they're getting eager to do that right now? >> i'm sure they're pretty eager. we'll have a gubernatorial election. mcdonnell actually they just passed a law last year. governor mcdonnell did not want a strict i.d. law, but now here we are getting close to another election, and the republicans are lining up to make it harder to vote. and so i think the governor is in a tough position. he's got to think about what's really fair and where he stood last time or does he stand with his party so that they can win? and so i think he's in a difficult position. we know that they're lining up in every state. missouri, arkansas, we see that these voter i.d. laws are still in play because this wasn't just about 2012. this is a long-term plan to make sure that it's harder for americans to participate in our democracy.
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>> i want to go back to jim about fair play here in a nonpartisan sense. when you talk to voters, it seems to me they understand the rules get changed in baseball. you don't have enough home runs so you widen the strike zone -- narrow the strike zone. they do that in baseball, but it's always jiggered for a purpose. people say why are you doing that? why are you changing the strike zone? we want the game to be more exciting. in this case you want the republicans to win. it just seems like that. >> it is. the difference is, you know, we're talking about baseball versus the failure of the republican party to be able to field an adequate candidate. at the end of the day they have the hard way, which is to reinvent themselves into a fashion that is more consistent and more in line with what pennsylvania voters are looking for. it's a moderate state. you know that. >> it's a purple. if bill scranton were running or tom ridge, they wouldn't have to play games. >> find a bill scranton, find a tom ridge, find a john heinz. those folks couldn't get out of
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a republican primary right now. if they found a candidate like that, they would appeal to pennsylvanians. that's the argument, look at pennsylvania, look at michigan. these are the type of states that justify, justify the need for act five of the voting rights. >> did you think you would grow old to believe eisenhower republicanism looked pretty good? who would have believed it? thanks, jim. judith, it's always good to have your expertise. up next, if presidential elections are a mood ring for the country, oscar night is a close second. what did we learn last night at the oscars? this is "hardball," the place for politics. oh this is lame, investors could lose tens of thousands of dollars on their 401(k) to hidden fees.
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the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf., and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we've shared what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. bp's also committed to america. we support nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs
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and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. we're back. if the presidential election is the best mood ring in the country, the academy awards are a close second. perhaps the biggest surprise at last night's oscars was when first lady michelle obama joined the ceremony via satellite from the white house to announce "argo" had won best picture. >> and now for the moment we have all been waiting for. and the oscar goes to "argo." >> i was here 15 years ago or
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something, and, you know, i had no idea what i was doing. i stood out here in front of you all really just a kid, and i went out, you know, and i never thought that i would be back here, and i am, and it doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life because that's going to happen. all that matters is that you got to get up. i love you. this is for you. >> i think "argo" won last night because it reflects the mood of the country. it's about a successful, nonviolent, multinational effort to get people out of iran and other places we ought not to be, and it's about america winning for example and for once. here to discuss the politics of the oscars, alex wagner and ann hornaday. thank you for joining us, ann. you're the expert. every time when i think about it, a decade, i try to think about what was going on at the time. the south in the late '30s was sort of vaguely english to make the english look good. the 1950s movies about biblical times and the way we treated
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slaves. it's really about the way we treat black people in america in those days. it's always about the present. i think "argo" is about the need of the country to win one of these damn things overseas for once. >> i think that's a point very well taken. movies are always allegories. we've talked about this before, too. this is an amazing year for washington process being the star of these movies. we had "argo." we had "lincoln" and "zero dark thirty," all of which really lifted the veil on these processes, and in the case of "lincoln" a process we're mired in in a dysfunctional way showing them working. what's different with last year's movies is there was this lack of cynicism in all of them. even though they were tough. "zero dark thirty" is a tough movie, but it is not a cynical film. and i think that's what really sets these apart. >> i was thinking, alex, i thought when "recount" came out, the hbo film, it was the first time i said to people you know what government looks like? that's what it looks like.
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it is messy. al it is messy. al gore's side takes one and the other guys count some other counties. it's the games that go on behind the scenes that really is government, democracy in action. >> i will say this, though, chris, one of the things about "argo" that offered audiences is a conclusion. it's been so long since we've had any sort of clear-cut foreign policy win. and that was a messy situation. eight servicemen died. it basically ended skrem my carter's presidency or his reelection bid. but it's presented in this digestible package and it's a clear feel-good movie. "zero dark thirty" on the other hand, is an incredibly gray movie. kathryn bigelow and mark bull say as much. ifft left people angry that questions weren't answered or there wasn't a more clear-cut view on torture. "lincoln" was feel-good because it showed america coming together to end slavery and close a very ugly, bloody chapter in our history.
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but at is the same time speaks to the dysfunction in washington, which i think makes us all a little queasy. >> i like seth macfarlane because he was respectful in his owner respectful ways. he said things he shouldn't have about getting into lincoln's mind, come back and give that wonderful rendition, the reprise of goldfinger, it's just great stuff. and to have barbra streisand sing for the guy she loved and cared so much about, marvin hammish, who i got to know as well. i thought there was great stuff. the production no, ma'am was great, old school. your thoughts about homage to the past. i think it's great when america loves the best parts of its past. >> well, i take your point, and i loved the shirley bassi moment, and i loved the set. it did have that old school glamour, that opening number with channing tatum and charlize theron. it really was throwback. i do think at some points in the
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actual show, it looked like they were trying to be the tonys, or win a tony as our tv critic said today. i always think it's sad when people win an award and it might be their one and only time and their acceptance speech gets cut off because they need to have room for yet another production number. i do think this loses sight of what it means to the people who are there. i do take your point. it's always nice to have a good old-fashioned song and dance man in that position. >> i think it's great. let me ask you about the obamas. this is the second time politicians have gotten to the awards. bill clinton was involved with the golden globes. i think if you look at a map of this country, after a presidential election, it's pretty clear the way it works. you've got new york and the new england states, the northeastern states. and somewhere around michigan or illinois it stops. and then you have this vast amount of flyover country if you will, and then there is l.a. and san francisco. and here it seems to be another one of these marriages of the bicoastal, the left coast
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against the east coast. republicans don't the this. >> could laura bush have done it? no. if she appeared at the oscars, i don't think she would have been greeted with the same amount of warmth. the first lady's message was about american entrepreneurialism, it was about children believing their dreams. it's what we can do when we believe in ourselves and believe in love, which is a fairly benign first lady message. but chris, in terms of the map, there are a lot of states in the middle of the country that the obamas are putting in play, whether that's, you know, the southwest, the middle west, i mean, we're not talking about, it's not just a bicoastal america. >> you're fighting my point. but maybe you're right. i don't think so. let me get back to you, ann hornaday. this cultural connection between the left coast and the democrats, it's pretty pronounced they're in league together. jack nicholson, the ultimate irreverent hollywood guy. >> i thought it was shocking actually. and i had just written a story that day about the degree to which the campaigning that the studios were doing for the oscars was overlapping with political gamesmanship in washington. >> who michelle? >> harvey weinstein.
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>> he pulled her in. >> i wish if i had a wish for that moment, i think, i really especially in the light of newtown and the discussions that we're having about gun violence in the media, i think she is in a prime position to be a leader on media literacy. she did come out for arts education. but i think even to make it more pointed in terms of media literacy and importance of that, that would have been a perfect podium for that. if she continues in this vein, i hope she'll think about that. >> ann hornaday, you're always right. we'll be right back, of course. meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max come. c-max go. c-max give a ride to everyone it knows. c max has more passenger volume than competitor prius v and we haven't even mentioned... c-max also gets better mpg. say hi to the super fuel efficient ford c-max hybrid.
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Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC February 25, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

News/Business. (2013) (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 11, Pennsylvania 9, Us 8, Clinton 7, Michigan 7, Jimmy Fallon 6, Washington 5, Ford 4, Michelle Obama 4, Boris 3, Campbell 3, Ann Hornaday 3, Joan 3, New York 3, Jim 2, Coolidge 2, Bp 2, Buk 2, Tyco Integrated Security 2, Max 2
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Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
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Tuner Virtual Ch. 787 (MSNBC HD)
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Pixel width 1920
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on 2/26/2013